It was too early for bed and I was just about to watch another episode of House of Cards when I heard thumping, like kicking a wall, somewhere just beyond my lounge room.
I heard it a few times over a few minutes before I turned to my partner with a curious look on my face.
“Is that one of the kids?” I asked, before muting the television, but it was not.
The silence in my house revealed the thumping was accompanied by thunderous shouting, and it was coming from my new neighbour’s place.
They moved in 16 days ago, and I first got a sense of foreboding on their second night. Their angry shouts permeated the walls as they fought their way up and down the floors of the old wooden house. His rage was palpable and explosive, cursing and screaming.
Was that sound throwing things? Hitting things? I could not quite discern the crashes and thuds. I didn’t hear a second voice and I decided to mind my own business.
We went away for a fortnight but on our return the cloud of rage descended upon our quiet, suburban, family neighbourhood once more. Now, my ear was pressed to the laundry window, where I listened to the furniture being hurled with as much force as the profanities.
Each shout, thump and thud made my eyes blink. I knew I should call the police, but I was paralysed. My feet were rooted to the laundry tiles and my mind skittered back to the time when it was me living in a relationship similar to this.
A time where my boyfriend’s rage was unpredictable, and violent. A time where I lost sight of what love is, and accepted something so much less.
Adrenaline shot through my veins and I began to shake uncontrollably. I remembered the times when the police would come to my house during a domestic dispute, or a concerned passer by would ask if I was OK if we were in public. I remembered the taste of hot terror. I remembered the shame I felt.
In time, the vicious symphony quieted next door and only shuffling remained. I went to bed, my partner wrapping me in his arm to quell my shaking and I attempted sleep.
An ambulance came some time in the night. I know not why, I just saw it out the window and cast a million aspersions in my head before once more trying to sleep. At 6am, the vicious screams and thuds began again and I knew I could mind my own business no longer.
This article was originally published by News.com.au.